Submitted by mojo on
Despite Mojo's social ineptitude and clod-like brain functions, nonetheless she enjoys art of all sorts. She has been known on occasion to swill herself down with a rusty bucket of water, wipe her nose on her sleeve and--thus prettied up--hie herself to museums and art galleries just to see the many interesting things people come up with in the name of self-expression. Mojo's Favorite Parents of course spared no expense in their daughter's upbringing and education, so long as it didn't cost them very much, and encouraged these pursuits. Which eventually led to a Childhood Trauma of epic proportions, as I shall now relate.
My Favorite Brother was looking at colleges, so he must have been around sixteen, which puts Mojo at the tender age of fourteen. My brother was scheduled to attend some sort of open house function at one of Boston's many fine institutions of higher education. My Favorite Father agreed to drive him and spend the day wandering aimlessly around Boston until it was time to pick him up. I begged to spend the day in Boston, and told my Favorite Father we could spend the day at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. I think I had just been there for the first time, so I wouldn't stop talking about it and pretending like I knew all about it. My father, I think in retrospect, probably encouraged this by asking simple questions so I could sigh my exasperation at his ignorance and set him straight. Because as we all know this is what Mojo likes to do best. And if you think she's bad now she is in her forties, you can imagine how distinctly tedious she must have been as a young teenaged girl.
So the whole drive to Boston I wouldn't stop talking about the MFA like I went there all the time and it's just the COOLEST place and OMG it's my favorite place in Boston (when really I knew Boston mostly through school field trips, which means four things: the MFA, the Patriot's Trail, Faniuel Hall, and/or the Aquarium) and when we go, Daddy, you have to see the Assyrian lion they have made out of bricks and like all those paintings you see in history books they are right there hanging on the wall in front of you and it is so cool....
Two hours in the car with that would test the patience of any parent. But my father, being the Wise Man that he is, bided his time (bade? whatever) and waited for his revenge. And being an adult, and a particularly intelligent and devious adult, boy oh boy did he have it.
We dropped my Favorite Brother off at the college and got to the MFA with me still prattling on all worldly-like. Dad paid our way and I immediately took charge and said, "Here, since you've never been here I'll show you around. Because this is a really great place and I don't want you to miss anything." (Oh, dear. Even now, nearly twenty years later, Mojo wishes she could take it all back. Because this really is awful.)
We go down the first wing I see and I'm still all bossy and pretending like I know what I'm doing. First stop is ancient pottery. Ancient Greek Pottery. Ancient Greek pottery that depicts nothing as far as the eye can see but naked men cavorting around. I'm fourteen years old, I'm with my father, and I have just led him to my Favorite Place in the Whole City, which turns out is a room full of naked men. But hey, I'm cool. I'm mature. I start admiring each piece, not too fast, not too slow, working my way out of that room as soon as I possibly can, and then on to the next room...where there are MORE naked men.
So as I'm working my way oh-so-maturely through this SECOND room of nekkidness, my father, who has been unusually silent for the entire time, finally sidles up to me and whispers, "I see now why this is your favorite place in the whole wide world." So I try to play the Maturity Card on him and I whisper back: "Daddy! We're in a MUSEUM! Don't EMBARRASS me!" Whereupon my Favorite Father replied, "Don't look now, but I think the guy on THIS one might be NAKED!"
Thus began my descent into trauma. I should have run screaming from the room, but I couldn't. So instead I tried really hard to appreciate all the lovely ancient pottery around me while my father would whisper helpful things like "Hey! That one's naked, too! And THAT one! Look! They're ALL naked!" which is Absolutely Mortifying when one is fourteen. So I started hurrying up to get away from him, which only caused him to speak a little louder when he wished to rub it in further. And at one point he called me over from across the room: "Hey, Mojo! This one's got a NAKED LADY on it for once!" which just about killed me. I believe I crawled out of the MFA that day, with my Favorite Father gabbling on enthusiastically instead of me: "Wow! I see why you like that place! That was GREAT! You were RIGHT! We should come here EVERY DAY!"
I don't know why these "Art Dog" t-shirts have wrested that painful memory from me, but now that it's out there I should say that, far from being naked, the dogs thus portrayed are all in kicky little outfits to remind you of their respective painters. Personally I would much rather they were done in each artist's style, with the Piccasso dog all Cubist and maybe a Dali dog dripping off a dead tree trunk, but Mojo can't have everything, much to her continual chagrin. Instead they are all done in the same way, which is cute but nothing to particularly write home about. There are two shirts, both XL, with the tags still attached. I have no idea where they came from, but somehow they found their way to my house.They can't be THAT old because the tags list a web page URL for the artist and/or manufacturer. But I have no idea where they came from.
With these two shirts come the lovely Certificate of Craptacularity, which likewise sports no nakedness to speak of, except of course the sheer naked PRIDE of owning such marvelous attire. So if you wish to pretend like you know all about art, wear these shirts and learn the artists' names and then try to work them into the conversation somehow. And if you should happen to know my father feel free to say "Hey, great way to traumatize your daughter, Mister Art Critic" and he can once again relive that fond memory of how he got me SO BAD it is painful to this day....
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